In Conversation With James MacAuslan

Bespoke Shirt Cutter, James Macauslan joined Budd as the company’s first apprentice cutter in over half a century in 2012. One of the youngest members of the team, he is also one of the most creative and proactive. A natural when it comes to craftsmanship and menswear, he is a fundamental member of the company. In recognition of his five years, we thought we’d collect a few thoughts from him.

Five things I have loved about the last 5 years at Budd:

  1. My colleagues. We are a very happy bunch. My mentor, Darren Tiernan is particularly supportive and great to work next to.

  2. The journey. I started out as an apprentice and am now a fully-fledged cutter.

  3. The community of Mayfair and St. James’s. We may be in the heart of the capital, but it actually feels like a village.

  4. The unique characters. We serve people from all walks of life, some very eccentric or novel.

  5. Surprising John Butcher on a regular basis with my unusual choice of clothing or tales of my life.

My top Five Budd Essentials

  1. My mallard duck foulard tie in grey.

  2. A navy grenadine tie – a perennial classic. I challenge anyone not to love these.

  3. Bow ties. I like the character and independent look that they give. They are also easier to wear when cutting.

  4. Bespoke shirts! I love the endless choice of collar, cuff and cloth and cutting my own is a handy skill to have.

  5. Boxcloth braces.

Five things people don’t know about me

  1. I can see dead people - not really!

  2. I am a costume designer in my spare time.

  3. I take my swimming very seriously.

  4. I attend salsa classes.

  5. I like to knit.

Five people whose style I admire

  1. Patrick McNee, actor.

  2. My father.

  3. Martin Gambier, coatmaker at Huntsman.

  4. Robert Redford in the Great Gatsby.

  5. Stanley Tucci, actor.

Five Style Tips

  1. Be yourself.

  2. Don’t be afraid of colour.

  3. Pull your trousers up.

  4. Dress for the occasion.

  5. Don’t try too hard.

Five things I wish I had learned earlier in life

  1. Be bolder, trust your gut.

  2. You can’t import mother of pearl buttons into America (a bad US customs experience).

  3. Never to mix your laundry.

  4. I still have a lot to learn.

  5. I am still learning...

Five useful menswear tips

  1. Match your pocket square to your shirt and not your tie.

  2. Always iron the collar from the outside in.

  3. Fold your collar down over your tie before buttoning it.

  4. Leave enough time to get dressed.

  5. Use a little hand soap and a nail brush to clean collars and cuffs before laundering.

Five pet hates

  1. People dawdling on the street and not looking up.

  2. Trousers worn too low.

  3. Fake tan, embrace your natural skin colour.

  4. Checked shirts.

  5. Crassness and people that are too loud.

Five menswear faux pas

  1. Wearing your trousers too low.

  2. Showing too much cuff with a jacket.

  3. Shirts peeping out under a waistcoat (usually the results of trousers being too low).

  4. Unpolished shoes.

  5. Checked shirts (yep, a real dislike).

Five albums I like to work to

  1. David Bowie – Earthling (childhood memories)

  2. Queen – Greatest Hits

  3. The Night is Young – The 2 Bears

  4. Grandad Bob – Garden of Happiness

  5. Moonlight – Soundtrack


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